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living the Gospel at all times (Holland)

It has always been a wonderful testimony to me of the Prophet Joseph’s greatness and the greatness of all of our prophets, including and especially the Savior of the world in His magnificence, that in the midst of such distress and difficulty they could remain calm and patient, charitable, and forgiving—that they could even talk that way, let alone live that way. But they could, and they did. They remembered their covenants, they disciplined themselves, and they knew that we must live the gospel at all times, not just when it is convenient and not just when things are going well. Indeed, they knew that the real test of our faith and our Christian discipleship is when things are not going smoothly. That is when we get to see what we’re made of and how strong our commitment to the gospel really is... Remaining true to our Christian principles is the only way divine influence can help us. The Spirit has a near-impossible task to get through to a heart that is filled with hate or anger or

Evil can be undone, but it cannot develop into good (C.S. Lewis; Holland)

  “I do not think that all who choose wrong roads perish; but their rescue consists in being put back on the right road. A [mathematical] sum [incorrectly worked] can be put right: but only by going back till you find the error and [then] working it afresh from that point, never by simply   going on.   Evil can be undone, but it cannot ‘develop’ into good. Time does not heal it. The spell must be unwound.”  [ C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce (1946), viii.] So God is just, “mercy claimeth the penitent” ( Alma 42:23 ), and evil can be undone. Jeffrey R. Holland,  https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2013/09/the-justice-and-mercy-of-god?lang=eng

Broken things are made whole (Holland)

“This is the time for our best effort, not our worst. This is a time for our greatest hope, not a retreat into calamity. We're going to be okay. Everything's going to be alright. This will pass.” “Everybody has troubles,” he said. “Everybody feels a little broken in life. . . Broken things are made whole. That's the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It takes broken clouds to nourish the earth. It takes broken earth to nourish grain. It takes broken grain to make bread, broken bread to nourish us . . . Things are broken in order to be whole, in order to give life. And the most precious broken thing of all was the broken heart of the Son of God.” “The Saviour asks us for a broken heart and contrite spirit. That’s what we need to be prepared to give. That’s what our sacrificial gift is supposed to be,” said Elder Holland. https://news-uk.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/elder-jeffrey-r-holland-honours-and-strengthens-british-latter-day-saints-at-online-devotional-invites-al

Banishing All Shadows (Holland and John Donne)

  "...the world you now enter holds challenges and difficulties. In the days and years ahead, you may suffer some discouragement and disappointment. On occasion you may feel genuine despair, either for yourself or for your children or for the plight and conditions of others. You may even make a personal mistake or two—serious mistakes, perhaps, though I hope not—and you may worry that any chance to be happy and secure in life has eluded you forever. When such times come, I ask you to remember this: This is the Church of the happy endings. Troubles need never be permanent nor fatal. Darkness always yields to light. The sun always rises. Faith, hope, and charity will always triumph in the end. Furthermore, they will triumph all along the way. Our English preacher [John Donne] said of this: We ask our daily bread, and God never says you should have come yesterday, he never says  [I have run out,]  you must  [come]  again to-morrow, but  to-day if you will hear his voice,  to-day he w

Darkness always yields to light (Holland)

Life can sometimes be difficult. Perhaps you have already discovered that. In the days and years ahead, you may suffer some discouragement and disappointment. On occasion you may feel genuine despair, either for yourself or for your children or for the plight and conditions of others. You may even make a personal mistake or two—serious mistakes, perhaps, though I hope not—and worry that the chance to be happy and secure in life has eluded you forever. When such times come, I  ask you to remember this: Troubles need never be permanent nor fatal. Darkness always yields to light. The sun always rises. Faith, hope, and charity will always triumph in the end. Furthermore, they will triumph all along the way. Remember God’s unfailing love for you. You undoubtedly will have days when you may feel dark, cold, clouded, or eclipsed. But if you desire God’s mercy, I promise that help will come to you. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Facebook post 6.19.18

God has a very good memory

Sometimes it seems especially difficult to submit to “great tribulation” when we look around and see others seemingly much less obedient who triumph even as we weep. But time is measured only unto man, says Alma (see Alma 40:8), and God has a very good memory. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, BYU Devotional January 1989

Repentance is hopeful and encouraging (Holland)

all things are possible to them that believe (Holland)

The time to repair the roof is when the sun in shining (Kennedy; Holland)

"As with any other germ, a little preventive medicine ought to be practiced in terms of those things that get us down. There is a line from Dante that says, 'The arrow seen before cometh less rudely' (Divine Comedy). President John F. Kennedy put the same thought into one of his state of the union messages this way: 'The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.' Jeffrey R. Holland For Times of Trouble, BYU Devotional, March 1980

comfortable gods (Holland)

Sadly  enough... it  is  a  characteristic  of  our  age  that  if  people  want  any  gods  at  all,  they  want   them  to  be  gods  who  do  not  demand  much,  comfortable  gods,  smooth  gods  who  not  only  don’t  rock  the  boat  but  don’t  even  row  it,  gods  who  pat  us  on  the  head,  make  us  giggle,  then  tell  us  to  run  along  and  pick  marigolds. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland April 2014 General Conference https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/the-cost-and-blessings-of-discipleship?lang=eng#11-10985_000_12holland

purpose in suffering (Holland)

"It is crucial to remember that we are living—and chose to live—in a fallen world where for divine purposes our pursuit of godliness will be tested and tried again and again. Of greatest assurance in God’s plan is that a Savior was promised, a Redeemer, who through our faith in Him would lift us triumphantly over those tests and trials, even though the cost to do so would be unfathomable for both the Father who sent Him and the Son who came. It is only an appreciation of this divine love that will make our own lesser suffering first bearable, then understandable, and finally redemptive." —Jeffrey R. Holland, " Like a Broken Vessel "

Teach him to deny himself. Teach him to say no. (Robert E. Lee; Holland)

...when a newborn baby was brought before the venerable Robert E. Lee and the hopeful parents asked for this legendary man’s advice, saying, “What should we teach this child? How should he make his way in the world?” the wise old general said, “Teach him to deny himself. Teach him to say no.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland BYU Devotional, January 1989 http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=729

faith is always pointed toward the future (Holland)

So, as a new year starts and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that  faith is always pointed toward the future.  Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will  yet  be efficacious in our lives. So a more theological way to talk about Lot’s wife is to say that she did not have faith. She doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she already had. Apparently she thought—fatally, as it turned out—that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as those moments she was leaving behind. "Remember Lot's Wife" Elder

broken vessel (Holland)

silver lining (Holland)

He deals with it (Holland)

“...be kind regarding human frailty—your own as well as that of those who serve with you in a Church led by volunteer, mortal men and women. Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we. And when you see imperfection, remember that the limitation is  not  in the divinity of the work. As one gifted writer has suggested, when the infinite  fullness  is poured forth, it is not the oil’s fault if there is some loss because finite vessels can’t quite contain it all. Those finite vessels include you and me, so be patient and kind and forgiving. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland -”Lord, I Believe,”  Ensign , May 2013, 94

"Remember Lot's Wife" (Holland)

As a scriptural theme for this discussion, I have chosen the second-shortest verse in all of holy scripture. I am told that the shortest verse—a verse that every missionary memorizes and holds ready in case he is called on spontaneously in a zone conference—is John 11:35: “Jesus wept.” Elders, here is a second option, another shortie that will dazzle your mission president in case you are called on two zone conferences in a row. It is Luke 17:32, where the Savior cautions, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Hmmm. What did He mean by such an enigmatic little phrase? To find out, I suppose we need to do as He suggested. Let’s recall who Lot’s wife was. The original story, of course, comes to us out of the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, when the Lord, having had as much as He could stand of the worst that men and women could do, told Lot and his family to flee because those cities were about to be destroyed. “Escape for thy life,” the Lord said, “ look not behind thee  . . . ; escape to the mou